2021 Season in Review: AJ Allmendinger

0 Comments

CREW CHIEF: Jason Trinchere

TEAM: Kaulig Racing

POINTS: Fourth in Xfinity Series

WINS: Five (Las Vegas I, Mid-Ohio, Michigan, Bristol, Charlotte Roval)

LAPS LED: 422

TOP 5s: 18

TOP 10s: 22

QUALIFIED FIRST: Five times (Darlington I, Texas I and II, Indianapolis road course, Daytona II)

WHAT WENT RIGHT: Versatility and consistency were AJ Allmendinger’s calling cards all season. His five Xfinity wins came across nearly the full spectrum of track types (1.5-mile oval, road courses, 2-mile oval, short track). He also finished first or second in 27% of the races (9 of 33) and suffered just two DNFs.

Allmendinger rallied late in the summer and then clinched the regular season championship over Austin Cindric with a dramatic victory at Bristol. He went on to make the Xfinity Championship 4 for the first time, thanks to a first-round playoff win at the Charlotte Roval and a solid Round of 8.

On the Cup side, Allmendinger also found success. At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, he took advantage of Denny Hamlin and Chase Briscoe’s clash in double overtime to steal the wingiving Kaulig Racing its first Cup triumph ahead of its full-time debut at the top level in 2022.

WHAT WENT WRONG: Allmendinger was among the strongest Xfinity drivers this season, but in the title finale at Phoenix, he didn’t have the pace to match his fellow Championship 4 drivers. With 20 laps to go in the scheduled distance, a loose wheel caused Allmendinger to spin from sixth place, extinguishing his ebbing hopes. Not only was he unable to lead a single lap in the race proper, he didn’t have a single lap as top runner among the Championship 4.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2022: Allmendinger will continue to run full Xfinity and part-time Cup schedules for Kaulig Racing. Regarding the latter, Allmendinger will share Kaulig’s No. 16 Cup entry with fellow Xfinity regulars Daniel Hemric and Noah Gragson. All three drivers made the Xfinity Championship 4 this season.